Ohio Congressman says he will not vote in favor of a bailout for the insurance industry
Tuesday, March 9th, 2010
Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich has stated that he is willing to effectively kill the government run health care bill by voting against the party line and sticking to his own principles.
Kucinich explained his position on MSNBC’s Countdown last night, noting that the absence of a public option to provide competition to insurance companies is pivotal.
“This bill represents a giveaway to the insurance industry,” The representative from Ohio said. “$70 billion dollars a year, and no guarantees of any control over premiums, forcing people to buy private insurance, five consecutive years of double-digit premium increases.”
“I told the president twice in two different meetings that I couldn’t support the bill if it didn’t have a robust public option and at least if it didn’t have something that was going to protect consumers from these rampant premium increases,” he added.
Kucinich, who voted against the narrowly-approved House bill in November, has previously stated that he supports a health care overhaul in the form of a single-payer or Medicare-for-all system. However, he is adamant that the current bill is geared toward private insurance company profiteering.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
“The fact is that one out of every three health care dollars goes for corporate profits, stocks options, executive salaries, advertising, marketing, the cost of paperwork – this bill doesn’t change that.” he said.
Kucinich stated that even if it meant he had the deciding vote in the House, he would oppose the legislation.
“If that sounded like a no, you’re correct,” the Congressman told guest host Lawrence O’Donnell, describing the proposed reform as akin to “building on sand.”
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It is widely acknowledged that a failure on behalf of the Democrats to pass the health care legislation could cost them the midterm elections in November.
In January, Kucinich savaged Democrats  over the health care bill, noting that “There’s nothing liberal about giving insurance companies carte blanche to charge anything they want for health care.”
“We lost the initiative the minute that our party jumped into bed with the insurance companies. And soon they were looking at increasing taxes as a way of subsidizing insurance companies. It’s just madness.” the congressman added.
A majority of 53% remain opposed to the health care reform, according to the latest figures from Rasmussen . Just 20% strongly favor the plan, while 41% are strongly opposed.
When it comes to health care decisions, 51% say they fear the federal government more than they fear private insurance companies, according to the survey.